Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Heart Song

I've always thought that silly songs are great mnemonic devices in the human sciences.  I've seen them work from kindergarten (remember the ABC song?) and up through medical school (even in pharmacology).

If you find them "catchy" then you'll find yourself repeating them in your head.  Or maybe even out loud.  And that's the kind of thing that helps your brain form long-term memories!

One I recently ran across is in a music video original produced to help 6th-graders learn about the heart.  But it may help you as you begin your study of the heart in A&P!

Watch it here.

Another one is a classic favorite: Pump Your Blood

Want more silly songs?  Check these out!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blood Types

Learning about blood types can be a bit confusing at first.

But the concept of blood types is important for several reasons:

  • Blood typing is used frequently in clinical medicine because the use of blood transfusions is common, and therefore so is blood banking and related activities.

  • Knowing one's own blood type is important for future medical procedures—perhaps even a life-threatening emergency.

  • Concepts of blood typing carry over into other types of tissue typing—a concept useful in transplant medicine.

  • Blood typing is a great introduction to basic concepts of immunology (something you'll be coming to soon in your A&P course) like antigens, antibodies, agglutination reactions, self vs. nonself, and more.

  • It's just one of those things you have to learn in A&P.  Trust us, we know this will be useful to you later on—even if you don't think so now.

Here's a great video that lays out the essential concepts very briefly—in an easy-to-understand way. Sometimes, an explanation that's a bit different than that in your textbook or class discussion helps a new concept "click" in your brain.

Watch the brief video What are Blood Types:

One brief note: the video states that antigens are proteins.  That's often true.  But in blood typing, the A and B antigens are actually sugars.  The Rh antigens are proteins.  Not a big deal—they were trying to keep it simple for you.

Here's a copy of the chart of ABO blood types used in the video.  You may want to copy-and-paste it into your class notes to supplement your learning resources.

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Here's a chart showing donor-recipient compatibility for the ABO-Rh combined typing system.

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